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DeGroat, Frank H.

House 1963-66 (District 57); House 1967-72 (District 65A); House 1973-76 (District 10A)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus

Counties Served:  Becker, Otter Tail, Wadena

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 5/7/1916
Birth Place: Morton, Minnesota
Birth County: Redwood
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 8/12/1989
Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Reported Minority: American Indian
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Lake Park
Occupation (when first elected): Dairy and Grain Farmer

EDUCATION

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Governor's Human Rights Commission; 19?? to 19??

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Married
Children: Five children
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Several sources list him as the first American Indian elected to the Minnesota Legislature. This is not true, there were others who served before him.

"DeGroat is a descendant of the East Coast Brotherton tribe...he was born on the Morton Indian Reservation and grew up on the White Earth Reservation." (Session Weekly, April 28, 1989, p. 7)

"Upon filing for election, [in 1962] DeGroat announced he would be a Conservative candidate saying, 'I am a Conservative. There is a need for conservative practices in government, for sound fiscal government.'...Though he consistently caucused with conservatives, he regarded himself as an independent. ...by 1974...DeGroat had reluctantly joined the Republican rank and file." (Fargo-Moorhead Forum, August 13, 1989)

He was a member of the Republican Party.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Senate in the 1976 election.

He was an unsuccessful unendorsed Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1980 election.

He died, of cancer, in a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.

Religion provided by the Catholic Bulletin, 3/21/1975.

Total Days Served: 5110

SESSIONS SERVED

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 10A
Elected: 11/5/1974
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/7/1975 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Becker, Otter Tail, Wadena
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Republican
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Taxes
  • Transportation

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 10A
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
Counties Represented: Becker, Otter Tail, Wadena
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Local Government
  • Taxes
  • Transportation
Session Notes: Dan Kershner contested his election due to unfair campaign practices. The three county attorneys decided not to prosecute since they felt there were not reasonable grounds to convene a grand jury.

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: Becker
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture (Chair)
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Labor Relations
  • Local Government
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation

66th Legislative Session (1969-1970)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/5/1968
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/7/1969 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Becker
Occupation: Dairy and Grain Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Conservation
  • Employee Compensation and Retirements
  • Health and Welfare
  • Highways
  • Labor Relations

65th Legislative Session (1967-1968)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/6/1969
Counties Represented: Becker
Occupation: Dairy and Grain Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Dairy Products and Livestock
  • Employees Compensation
  • Game and Fish
  • Highways
  • Labor-Management Relations

64th Legislative Session (1965-1966)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 57
Elected: 11/3/1964
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/5/1965 to 1/2/1967
Counties Represented: Becker
Occupation: Dairy and Grain Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture and Cooperatives
  • Labor-Management Relations
  • Recreation and Water Resources
  • University

63rd Legislative Session (1963-1964)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 57
Elected: 11/6/1962
Residence: Lake Park
Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/4/1965
Counties Represented: Becker
Occupation: Dairy and Grain Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus Party Notes: "Upon filing for election, [in 1962] DeGroat announced he would be a Conservative candidate saying, 'I am a Conservative. There is a need for conservative practices in government, for sound fiscal government.'...Though he consistently caucused with conservatives, he regarded himself as an independent." (Fargo-Moorhead Forum, August 13, 1989)
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry and Public Domain
  • Industrial and Employee Relations
  • Recreation and Water Resources
  • University
Articles & Books About
Sprung, Christopher. "Longtime Lake Park Legislator Dies at 73 (Obituary)." Fargo-Moorhead Forum, August 13, 1989.

"Frank DeGroat is the Only Known American Indian to Have Served in the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 20th Century." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 28, 1989, p. 7. - This is incorrect, he wasn't the first American Indian to serve in the 20th Century.



The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.